Is the Yokozuna Slickhead the biggest deep-sea fish in the world?


Video of six slickheads was captured by Japanese researchers.
Courtesy of JAMSTEC

According to Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Japanese scientists have captured rare video footage of a large, almost entirely black, deep-sea bony fish. It was first reported July 1 in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.
Scientists lured the oversized “slickhead” into a bait container at the bottom 1.25 miles deep, 250 miles from Japan’s Suruga Bay, located southwest of Tokyo.

Three cameras were positioned around the bait container to record what the fish would do. One of the cameras recorded video of a giant slickhead yokozuna chasing other fish for food. They calculated the size of the oversized slickhead at just over 8 feet in length. The estimate was based on the location and size of the fish bait container.

Biologists believe that the deep-sea slickhead is an apex predator that lives in the darkest depths of the oceans.

Six yokozuna slickheads had already been captured, the largest being only 4.5 feet long.

The researchers collected DNA samples from the deep-sea study area confirming the presence of slickheads, which they believe are the largest bony fish in the world living in waters deeper than 1.25 miles.

“The one spotted this time was so huge that we recalculated its size several times,” said Yoshihiro Fujiwara, researcher for JAMSTEC. “It is possible that large, unidentified variants of deep-sea fish inhabit other waters as well,” he said.


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